Gov’t to revoke all diplomatic passports of Mahama’s appointees

Government says it will soon revoke all diplomatic passports still in the hands of former appointees of the John Mahama administration.

Foreign Minister, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey says those still holding on to the passports risk being embarrassed if they fail to return them.

“I don’t want a colleague just because he is a former government appointee to go through such an ordeal,” she told Joy News Evans Mensah on the sidelines of the launch of the Ghana@60 celebrations in the UK.

A formal notification was issued early this year for all former appointees and ex-MPs to turn in their diplomatic passports.

Foreign minister Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey told Joy News the deadline for the return of the state property has elapsed.

She said while a “good number” of former officials have returned the document meant to ease the bureaucracy at the airport during travels, a ‘few’ still have not complied with the notification.

She could not provide immediately the number of persons still holding diplomatic passports.

She said the revocation will also affect former Members of Parliament too.

A discussion of the use and abuse of diplomatic passports was triggered after the British High Commission fingered three MPs and a former MP in a visa fraud scandal.

The High Commission has said it has sanctioned the MPs, measures which include a 10-year travel ban to the UK.

While the issuing of the passports are governed by law, there is an element of discretion which the minister said has been abused.

The minister has called for a cleaning up of the system lamenting that years of abuse has affected the respect accorded Diplomatic Passport holders.



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